OpenProject: An open source project management solution

OpenProject: An open source project management solution

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by 

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OpenProject: An open source project management solution
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Trying to track a complex project without drowning in too much information is still a challenge for many of us. To solve this, we developed OpenProject, a web-based open source project management tool that supports teams throughout the entire project life cycle. It is licensed under GNU GPLv3 and written in Ruby on Rails and AngularJS.

OpenProject offers work packages tracking (e.g. tasks, risks, bugs, requirements), a Scrum board, timelines, document management, a project wiki, meeting management, time and cost reporting, and much more.


OpenProject offers two installation options: A manual installation or an installation via packager. The latter is much easier and therefore highly recommended to reduce installation effort and configuration errors. The software packages ship with a configuration wizard that will help you getting everything up and running quickly.

The installation procedure assumes the following prerequisites:

  • A server running on a Linux distribution (64-bit variant only).
  • A mail server that is accessible via SMTP that can be used for sending notification emails. OpenProject supports authentication, yet does not provide support for SMTP via SSL/TLS.
  • A valid SSL certificate along with the private key file (If you intend to use SSL for OpenProject). The key must not be protected by a passphrase, otherwise the Apache server won't be able to read it when it starts.

The next steps depend on the Linux distribution to initiate the actual installation of OpenProject via the packager (installation guide). Note that all commands should either be run as root or prepended with sudo.

The configuration wizard will finalize the setup and can be started using the openproject configure command.

After you have completed this step, the OpenProject instance will start automatically. You can log into the system initially with the user/password combination admin/admin. You will be asked to change this password immediately after the first login.

Getting your team started

Start by creating a new project from the start page with just one click. Next, invite project members. Create work packages for your team, assign them to team members, and track the progress. You will see all changes at a glance and get a quick overview on where your team stands. There are several quick tutorials covering first steps as well as detailed instructions on specific functionalities. There are also additional help resources, such as user guides, a glossary, and FAQs, on the website.

Key features with screenshots

OpenProject offers a great variety of project management functions to support project teams (e.g. tasks, project timelines, documentation, team communication). Key features for OpenProject are:

Work package tracking

  • Manage your projects' tasks, requirements, bugs, risks, and much more.
  • Assign responsibilities, keep track of due dates, and see the change history.
  • Configure your individual workflows.

OpenProject work packages split view screenshotThe work packages split view.

Project timelines

  • Create and manage project timelines.
  • Configure individual reports based on your needs.
  • Easily track changes and dependencies.

OpenProject timelines view screenshotThe timelines view.


  • The backlogs view allows drag and drop for easy prioritization.
  • Support your daily meetings with an online task board.
  • See the sprint progress in a burndown chart.

OpenProject backlogs view screenshotThe backlogs view.

Time and cost reporting:

  • Create and monitor your project budgets, log time, and costs.
  • Create individual cost types and log unit costs on work packages.
  • Customize individual cost reports.

OpenProject time and cost reporting view screenshotThe time and cost reporting view.

Furthermore, OpenProject supports meeting management, documents, and version control (including Subversion and Git repositories), wikis, news, forum posts, and much more. It offers incoming email functionality, two-factor authentication, and is committed to highest data security and privacy regulations.

Learn more

Further information about OpenProject and the community, including installation or backup guides, documentation, and help resources, can be found on the website. Project development, roadmap planning, and forum discussions take place in the OpenProject community project.


Sandra McCann

nice! even has scrum support!

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Wow this tool is going to be hit... almost every thing ideally suited for day to day functioning of a Scrum team.

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The software packages ship with a configuration wizard that will help you getting everything up and running quickly.

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Thanks! it is very interesting.

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We recently passed on OpenProject (and several others) as our tool for managing deployment of an enterprise IT system for a worldwide audience. The reason? Too software development oriented. It seems the bulk of developers in this area want to reinvent the wheel and build yet another software development tracker. There are dozens of them out there. However, there is a virtual ghost town of generic project management tools. (Think MS Project, but on the web.) We ended up going with the venerable dotProject, which hasn't been updated in a few years. Had to fix a few bugs, but now it works nicely. It has the basic tool set needed for generic PM, but isn't bogged down with a bunch of irrelevant software dev functionality.

I'm not trying to advertise for dotProject here, but to point out a big gap in the OSS library. Maybe some motivated programmers will pick up the gauntlet and get dotProject moving again. The web2project guys forked it a few years ago, but sadly now w2p is languishing and broken as a myriad of changes have mangled basic functionality. Heck, if neither of these suit your fancy then roll your own. There is plenty of space out there for another option.

So, anyone out there up to the task?

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Birthe is chairperson of the OpenProject Foundation's (OPF) Board of Directors. The foundation governs and gives guidance to the open source project OpenProject - a web-based project management software.
She’s enthusiastic about free and open source software and the way an open source community jointly contributes to a project. She's been working with OpenProject since 2009 and is doing community support and actively coaching and teaching project teams to work with the software.